The #smugcouple presents: the BEST of the One of a Kind Show (#OOAKX13)!!

4 Dec

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It’s the holidays and the best place to get all of your shopping done is the One of a Kind Show (Direct Energy Center, Nov. 28, 2013 – December 8, 2013). This year there are over 800 artists and vendors selling their wares. The great thing about this show is that you’re supporting small independent artists and the gifts you get from here will be unique! Fair reader, we’ve combed the aisles of the giant convention floor space and brought you our favourites from the show.

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  1. Unik Printshop (Sophie Joubaron), silkscreen, wood veneers: I stumbled upon Sophie’s work by accident. I was looking for X-mas gifts (created by CANADIAN artists) on Etsy. She works out of her studio in MTL and has done work for the Canadian Museum of Nature as well as La Musée des Beaux-Arts. She is as lovely in-person as she is in our correspondence. The images she silk-screens are a subtle nod to Canadiana that would fit well in any decor. Her work is striking in a simple and elegant way. Veneers sell for $12 – 30 and she makes gift cards from silk-screen tests, $4 each of 3 for $10. A great gift for new homeowners.
  2. The Windmill of Provence (Isabella), pottery: We saw this booth just as the show closed but Isabella’s friend, who was working on Sunday, stayed to help us find the perfect piece. HoM and I both stopped because we were struck by the hand-painted flowers that leapt off the cream pottery. Ceramics/ pottery are tricky. Often they have have a clunky “handmade” earthenware feeling. We loved the lightness of this work. So French Country. A great gift for mums and grandmamas … or girlfriends with “old lady” tastes!
  3. Jenna Rose, textiles: I have been obsessed with Jenna’s work since the Spring, 2013 #OOAKX13. I often find myself just going to and looking at her Etsy page. She silk-screens hand-drawn images onto organic cottons. Her work reminds me of the Kinfolk Table cookbook. This year she showcased new prints featuring bees. I want to live in a world where all of my textiles are made by Jenna Rose. A great gift for the understated fashion-conscious woman in your life.
  4. P1010544Vespertine, sustainable fashion: A new Toronto-based fashion line made from sustainable materials. How is this possible? Designer Melanie Ferrara (educated at Ryerson) explained that she buys bolt-ends – smaller pieces of fabric that bigger companies can’t and won’t use – and other eco-friendly fabrics to create her designs. She also makes all of her stuff in Canada! The thing I love most – she makes sizes for ALL women and promotes a healthy attitude towards beauty. A great philosophy as well as beautiful clothes. A great gift for YOURSELF!
  5. Wildhagen Hats: HoM is a lover of all things antiquated. He loves hats. He loves that Wildhagen stretches their hats using a vintage tool. He loves that their hats range from unique and whimsical creations to modern twists on classic styles. The staff on-site is also ultra-knowledgeable – they can tell you how wear a hat and what suits your face with a glance. HoM is committed to becoming a hat person and a hat from Wildhagen may be what it takes to get him started. A gift for the handsome man in your life!

Honourable Mentions:

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  1. Greg Voisin, pottery: Greg is based out of Hamilton, ON and creates his pottery in his home studio. His work was included in the #OOAKX13 gift guide. I really like the simplicity of these pieces, which indeed “warm my heart,” as their creator intended. Some of the designs are too obviously “hipster-chic” but if you avoid the ironic-moustaches, Greg’s work features some really elegantly hand-drawn animals and bicycles. I want one of everything in this collection and I want all of my friends to have a piece too! (Mugs, $25)
  2. Noelle Hamlyn, multi-media: Repurposing old books by turning them into notebooks is quite popular at the moment. We loved the work of this artist who repurposes (or “upcycles” as she terms it) old books in even more fun and inventive ways. She doesn’t simply reuse the old materials but instead employs them in a thoughtful manner, drawing on the stories the books originally told. See, for example, a children’s hand bag made from one of Beatrix Potter’s “Peter Rabbit” books.  Our favourite items were shadow boxes where Hamlyn created scenes with illustrations cut out of books and free-floating scraps of paper.

You may have noticed that food vendors are conspicuously absent from our list of favourite things.  Perhaps it was because we had just come from the Canadian Tasting Fair where our cups (or plates I suppose) runneth over with delectable edibles, but we were rather underwhelmed by the selection of food at #OOAKX13. There were a ton of options for gift-giving: shortbread, jams, spreads, and teas. We’d like to see some more adventurous food options rather than things you’d find in corporate gift baskets.

We hope this helps cross a few names off that list! Happy Holidays!!

Happy Holidays from YYZ!

Happy Holidays from the #smugcouple!

One of a Kind Show 2013
Direct Energy Centre, Exhibition Place (Parking on-site, $14)

Show Hours: Weekdays 10AM – 9PM; Saturdays 10AM – 9PM; Sundays 10AM – 6PM
Late night shopping
: Thurs, Dec 5, open until 11pm

 

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2 Responses to “The #smugcouple presents: the BEST of the One of a Kind Show (#OOAKX13)!!”

  1. Melanie December 4, 2013 at 10:31 am #

    I completely agree! This show is the best place to do your holiday shopping, especially for the hard-to-buy for types. Thanks for stopping by to Chat, Clementine! Lovely to meet you : )

  2. Gale December 4, 2013 at 9:58 pm #

    I agree with you Clementine! OOAK is the place for unique gifts for everyone on your Christmas list. I aspire to be more organized next year and pick up something for everyone on my list, and maybe a little something for Mrs. Claus (yippee, that would be me!) while I’m at it!

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